Thursday, April 5, 2012

That crazy “multi-national” thing.

At this point in the game,  there’s really not that much that surprises us anymore.  We’ve become mindful of the different holidays in all the different countries,  and how employees of the European parts of The Company that Cannot be Named can mysteriously take holidays and leave nobody in charge.  Things that would get you summarily fired in North American culture.  I know it’s easy peasy to fire someone in the States,  and the impression is that it’s that much harder to do in Canada.  That’s partly correct,  but only to the extent that in Canada you’d have to pay some sort of severance to get rid of someone.  You don’t have to fire someone “for cause”,  but if you do, it’s not going to cost you.

Anyway,  I tend to not check emails after a certain time in the evening,  and since T.C. didn’t get home last night until after 10:00 p.m. it stands to reason that a note she had sent to me later in the day had slipped under the radar.

When a person is away from their desk,  it’s commonplace to have some sort of “out of office reply” set up to deal with incoming emails.  Typically all that is necessary is something like,  “I’ll be away from my desk until…such and such,  etc.”   It’s usually a good idea to put in the name of anther person to contact.  Something like, “Don’t bug me”,  isn’t terribly professional.  Just thought I’d mention that,  in case there was any doubt.


What T.C. had sent me was this example:

It's tomb sweeping holiday in China from 2 April ~ 4 April 2012. For urgent matters, please text me at +86(some Chinese number). Otherwise, I'll respond to your email on 5 April 2012. Thanks.”
signed: *a person with an obvious Chinese name*


Well now.  That’s a new one.  "Tomb Sweeping Holiday”?   You got me.  Never heard of that one.  Should photographic evidence be a requirement?   Does a person have to get their broom well ahead of time to avoid the rush? 

We’re unfortunately scraping the bottom of the “blogging barrel” here,  so we’ll leave that one alone.

I’m still shaking my head though.




There was also a short email from one of the band members that was sent last night some time.  Seems to me if it’s Thursday they’re in Budapest.   They won’t be hanging around here too long after they crash Friday night (well,  actually more like early Saturday morning)  since they finish up their tour at some club in Ljubljana. 


Just for fun,  I’ve copied and pasted their whirlwind itinerary.  The things we could do when we were young,  eh?

3/07/2012 Atlantide – Bologna, Italy
3/08/2012 Lo-Fi – Milano, Italy
3/09/2012 Dynamo Werk 21 – Zurich, Switzerland
3/10/2012 Exhaus – Trier, Germany
3/11/2012 Halle 14 – Karlsruhe, Germany
3/13/2012 La Zone – Liege, Belgium
3/14/2012 Worm – Rotterdam, Holland
3/15/2012 De Onderbroek – Nijmegen, Holland
3/16/2012 AZ – Mulheim, Germany
3/17/2012 Elbdeich – Hamburg, Germany
3/18/2012 1000 Fryd – Aalborg, Denmark
3/20/2012 Härden – Goteborg, Sweden
3/21/2012 Internasjonale – Oslo, Norway
3/23/2012 Ykan Pub – Oulu, Finland
3/24/2012 Musta Kynnys – Jyvaskyla, Finland
3/25/2012 Kahvila Hertta – Tampere, Finland
3/27/2012 Lepakkomies – Helsinki, Finland
3/28/2012 Svarta Dörren – Stockholm, Sweden
3/29/2012 Dödsmaskinen – Copenhagen, Denmark
3/30/2012 Zoro – Leipzig, Germany
4/01/2012 Modra Vopice – Prague, Czech Rep
4/02/2012 Plan B – Ostrava, Czech Rep
4/03/2012 M13 Muzak Klub – Brno, Czech Rep
4/04/2012 Collosseum Club – Kosice, Slovakia
4/05/2012 Szabad Az A’ – Budapest, Hungary
4/06/2012 Escape Metalcorner – Wien, Austria
4/07/2012 Klub Gromka – Ljubljana, Slovenia



How would you even know what city you’re in? 


When this request first came in for some place to crash,  I took a look at where they were going to be “playing”  Friday night.   (Hey,  this is “Grunge/Grind”,  so words like “Musicians” and “playing”  will be in quotes.  My blog.  My rules.)   Anyhoo,  it’s some joint down on the corner of Neustiftgaße,  and due to a slight miscommunication between Travelling Companion and I,  she was quite sure that they would be wandering all over Vienna since the place wasn’t where she thought it would be. 

So the other day I took a little hike down there,  and sure enough,  the place is right where it’s supposed to be, and it’s about a 20 minute walk from our front door. 



I wasn’t too inclined to go over and peer into the window or anything.   This is another example of how you can drive right by a place every single day and have no clue what’s there.  Just a factor of city life I guess.

On the way back I found myself on yet another street that we’ve never had any business of being on,  where I found a very neat little tool shop.  This is kind of a rarity in these parts,  since the only other dedicated tool store that is within 20 minutes of our front door is a little cubby hole down on Mariahilferstraße.  



Again,  you could easily walk right by this place and not give it a second look.  Of course,  they had some pretty interesting tools in the windows,  so that was a clue.

It’s a little bit hard to describe,  but if you were looking for specific tools for jewellery making,  this is the place to go.   I tried not to drool.   Had it been woodworking tools of that quality,  I probably would have pooped a little,  so it was just as well that these weren’t tools that I’d run out to buy.   But fun to look at anyway.

They do have a website, although it’s a little goofy.  If you go over to the pull down menu on the left,  you can get an idea of all the stuff they have.   I mean,  I do have such a thing as jeweller's rouge,  but these guys carry about six different kinds!   And that’s just one example.

It comes in a stick,  and sort of looks like an old chocolate bar,  which is why you shouldn’t leave it lying around,  but that’s another story. 


Anyway,  I may go back there one of these days to pick up a couple pairs of their tiny little pliers,  which I’ll give to Daughter Number One,  who likes to make jewellery as a hobby.  She’d freak out in that place too.  I know she “borrowed”  a couple of my pliers when she first started out,  but I figure the kids are going to get all my cr*p when I croak anyway,  so what’s the difference?  She can keep them. I got drawers full. 


Even though I haven’t been actively looking for people doing stupid things,  since that would be more like something I’d have to commit to,  I took a picture of these dough heads after walking on by this morning.

Let’s block the sidewalk so we can unload a rack of clothes,  shall we?


Fortunately it was only about 9:30 a.m.,  so it wasn’t the glut of pedestrians that normally go along here. 

People here are considerably more tolerant of this kind of cr*p than I ever could be.  I just tell myself that I’m the foreigner here,  and to keep walking.   It can be a little annoying though when you’re sitting in your car on a street that’s only wide enough for one vehicle,  and some jackass decides to stop in the middle of the road.   I’ve been known to honk.  Not supposed to,  but I don’t care.


Well,  I have to go back to sorting out sleeping arrangements.


Oh wait.


There was an off hand request for the banana bread recipe.   Here goes:

“The Best Traditional Banana Bread Recipe
For the purists. A traditional banana loaf recipe with a touch of spice. Feel free to toss a cup of nuts in this recipe. No chocolate for this one as the spice will compete too much.”

*Note*  I DO NOT put nuts in this!  Can’t deal with crunchy bit in banana bread.  The only kind of nuts I’ll tolerate are the ground up kind (walnuts) in the Potica.
No other mention of nuts will be tolerated.

1 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, soft
3 bananas (ripe)
2 eggs
1 tsp soda, dissolved in 1 Tbsp cold water (Natron here in Austria)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg*   (only if you want to,  I don’t.  I don’t really care for nutmeg)
2 cups flour.

1.    Heat oven to 350°F   (I set my oven at about 190°C)
2.    Combine and mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
3.    Place batter in a greased bread pan (bottom only) or in muffin tins.
4.    Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
5.    Cool for 10 minutes then remove from pan. Complete cooling on a wire rack
Makes one good sized loaf.


Note as well:  I tend to use a knife to check on doneness.  And,  I mix all the stuff except the flour first,  and then I fold in the flour.  I have to do that by hand,  since our stand mixer is sitting in our kitchen back home.  In Canada.  *sigh*

Meh,  it’s worth the effort,  and I hate to turf out perfectly serviceable but slightly over ripe bananas.

Give it a go.


Thanks for lookin’.





  1. Since you're mentioning holidays in Europe. Norway is the worst brother in class. Try to get something done there during holidays in the summer. They call it "Fellesferie" og that means that EVERYONE is on vacation. So we found out that rather than running against locked doors we took vacations as well. It is sooo annoying, you say we are the foreigners. We shouldn't honk, right?

  2. There is a proper hardware store on the corner of Neubaugasse and Burggasse great if you need a certain size screw or bolt etc. they have everything.

    Also ask the girl in the band (if that is a girl) if her voice gets a bit scratchy the next day after singing like that.

  3. Now that I see where Petzolt is (I recognise the guys in armour up on the corner there) I realise we've gone by there too a number of times. I had no idea the place was so huge. I'll have to check it out.

  4. thanks for the banana bread the black bananas in the freezer can 'be used up' for the greater good!

  5. Egads...Even if I were young, I think I would be exhausted with that schedule! Enjoy your day. ~wheresweaver

  6. Thanks for the info on the diabetic banana bread. It will be nice to let Jim have something good to eat once in awhile. I don't put nuts in my food either.

  7. Yup, those band guys are going to be falling over asleep on stage about half way through their tour!

  8. super thanks for the recipe :) I'll be sure to try it out...I usually pop over ripe bananas into the freezer till I have time to make B bread..have a wonderful Easter...I can't believe that tour

  9. Gracias for the recipe. I think it is best you mix by hand, more exercise that way!

    Good luck with the band gang.....if we don't hear from you for a few days we'll understand!

    PS be sure to check for email messages from TC tonite in case she decides not to come home for obvious reasons!


Well, I've been getting too many spam comments showing up. Just a drag, so we'll go another route and hope that helps. So, we won't be hearing anything more from Mr. Nony Moose.
I guess I'll just have to do without that Gucci purse.